The Idea

How It Was Born
Have you ever sat on a warm white sand beach🏖️ staring👀 at the ocean and thought about changing your life to be more meaningful or how you could give yourself a greater purpose or MISSION? Or have you laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to music▶️ late at night , trying to figure out your purpose or what your PASSION is? What about a powerful dream that wakes you up from a deep sleep😴?

It had been about 4 months now, since my wife and I left our 9 to 5 jobs in Toronto, sold almost everything we owned, and decided to travel across Southeast Asia. I woke up in sweat from the sweltering heat of the summer sun in Chiang Mai, Thailand, shining brightly through the window of a newly built condo my wife and I had rented for the next 2 months. I didnt' know it then, but this was the place I was going to have my GREAT IDEA. I had spent the last few weeks soul searching, trying to figure out what my purpose was and it led me to the Japanese philosophy of : IKIGAI (pronounced ee-key-guy) which means 'reason for being'or'thing that you live for' in English.

So after weeks of thinking critically about my Ikigai, I started to notice all things around me in more detail. As we traveled across the contintent from Thailand to Cambodia, Malaysia, Bali, and Singapore, I noticed the extremes of plastic pollution in the oceans and landfills of Thailand and Malaysia. I noticed the use of sustainable materials and eco-friendly products in the shops in Bali. I noticed what the world "should" look like in the garden city that was Singapore with the cleanliness and clean fresh air.

Collectively, we went through each stage below to figure out what we love to do, what we're good at, what we could get paid for, and what the world needs, and it all ultimately culminated into our IKIGAI, which is the YOSI | Collective.

We are a sustainable, social, statement brand with a clear mission and purpose...and it begins here!

This is how the YOSI | Collective was born.

The Details

 'YOSI' = 'THINK' in the Tamil language

The YOSI | Collective was born in Toronto, Canada after the idea was conceptualized in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The brand, material, & purpose was inspired by a 10 month journey across Southeast Asia which helped form and inspire the identity, purpose, and greater mission of the brand.

The goal was to incorporate three things that we were passionate about:

1. Raising awareness for social issues
2. Hip Hop culture and influence
3. Eco-Friendly, organic, sustainable apparel and art

The YOSI Collective brand is one that mirrors our values. We wanted to create eco-friendly apparel that was made for the streets and represented us.


Would you wear organic apparel and incorporate more organic sustainable products into your home and life if you could?

Would you wear apparel or buy products that raised awareness for global social issues that mean something to you or that you are passionate about?

Do you want to be a part of a story...a mission...a new impact brand with a purpose that is looking to make a difference, reduce environmental impacts, raise social awareness, and ultimately try and create pockets of change in the world?

We answered YES to all of the above and started looking for a solution...We couldn't find one.

So we created the YOSI | Collective



Create an Eco-friendly brand made with organic, sustainable material that supports fair trade and ethical practices

Create a  brand that raises awareness for social issues

Create a modern urban brand of apparel, canvas art, and accessories

PHASE 2 (~ 2021 TBD):

Build partnerships with global organizations to donate proceeds and financially support various social issue initiatives like: modern day slavery, human trafficking, climate change, childhood education, and access to clean water.

Create the YOSI Foundation, an organization built to make an impact on the world with 'hands on' support. The Foundation will create opportunities for international cooperation to tackle major social issues. In this phase, we are open to discuss partnerships and opportunities to work with other organizations and create momentum for change. IF we can hit our goals in 2020, we will be able to release more info on the foundation, as the concept gets closer to becoming a reality.

The YOSI Collective brand of apparel, accessories, and canvas art is created with a bigger mission in mind. To create and help fund the YOSI Foundation where we can actually start to make a BIG difference and create an impact. 

For more info check out our Goals page 

We provide a way for people to show their support towards social issues that matter to them the most in an Eco-friendly way with our apparel, accessories and art.  We use modern creative designs and phrases that allow you to wear with purpose and represent your values.


YOSI - A Sustainable Social Statement Brand

Eco-Streetwear That Was Made For You!

Help Us Change The World

My name is Vakeesan Mahalingam, CFA
and I am the Founder of The YOSI Collective.